Touching Absence is a sensory exploration of the phenomenon of huidhonger; the intense desire for touch. Huidhonger is a sensation that people started to experience en masse when the coronavirus reached the Netherlands and the government locked down the country. Through personal stories and experiences, led by sensory imagery and sound, Touching Absence explores the effects of an absence of, and a desire for touch during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Netherlands.
Flore is a 26 years old visual anthropologist based in Amsterdam. Having always been deeply interested in both science and art, she felt that she had to choose between the two when she started studying. In visual anthropology she found a way to combine these two interests, as well as her curiosity and empathy for people’s stories. Doing this masters while the country was in lockdown, she discovered that even in the most sensory and activity lacking situations she could find inspiration. This made her realize that inspiration does not only lie in big events and experiences, but can also be found in the lack of these experiences or in the small and mundane things in life.